Simon Roberson from BT says the company is only in a position to cover two thirds of the North East with superfast broadband at the moment. He added, though, 90% of the whole country could have access to it soon.
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Nominations are now open for the ITV Fundraiser of the Year Award 2019
The contract includes designing and building a new train fleet and maintenance depot. The winning bid will be announced in January 2020.
Councils say they want to create new rail services, improve stations and build walk and cycle routes across the region.